Rick Ream
Vice President of Human Resources
  • Plan(s)
    401(k)
  • Total Plan Assets
    $144MM
  • Participants
    1,614
  • Participation Rate
    91.6%
  • Average Deferral Rate
    8.5%
  • Default Deferral Rate
    6%
  • Default Investment
    T. Rowe Price Retirement Fund
  • Automatic Enrollment
  • Automatic Escalation
  • Employer Contribution
    50% of 8% ; 50% of 12% for employees 55+
  • Provider(s)
    Recordkeeper, T. Rowe Price; Adviser, Retirement Fund Management
  • Financial Wellness Educator(s)
    Retirement Fund Management


Through its financial coaching program, initiated in 2018, Yancey Bros. has increased its one-on-one financial wellness training by 44%.

Yancey Bros. Co. is a fourth-generation family-run Caterpillar dealer, headquartered in Austell, Georgia. An ongoing challenge is recruiting talent for its small-town facilities.

“The job of a technician can be physically demanding, which is another reason we have to be successful at recruiting and retaining good people,” explains Rick Ream, vice president of human resources (HR) for the company.

Yancy Bros. values its workers—45% of whom are technicians and mechanics—displaying that by offering extensive financial education. In June 2018, with the help of its adviser, Retirement Fund Management (RFM), the company instituted a financial coaching program. “We felt that people needed to have tools to talk about their financial wellness. Most won’t use online features, so the goal was to have someone in-person,” Ream notes.

Many of Yancey Bros.’ employees are blue-collar, high-school-educated workers who are unversed in retirement-planning lingo. While the company did look at online platforms, Ream realized that these workers would benefit more from in-person help, preferably from a company with no agenda to sell products and turn a profit. “That ruled a lot of companies out,” he says with a laugh. “We wanted someone who could just come in and talk to employees individually.”

Ream eventually found RFM. Advisers from the firm coach employees one-on-one, for 45-minute sessions, taking them through Yancey Bros.’ 401(k) website provided by recordkeeper T. Rowe Price. From there, workers can track their retirement readiness based on their personal situation, to really track projections—even spouses or partners may join.

Additionally, RFM provides independent financial advice to Yancey Bros.’ workers. Since the program’s inception in 2018, Yancey Bros. has facilitated over 850 sessions for its employees with RFM, and has increased their engagement with the plan, from 17% meeting with an adviser to 44% doing so as of this year. “People find out they’re in much better shape than they thought and understand they can retire the way they want to,” says Ream.

Wellness initiatives at Yancey Bros. don’t stop with finance—the company offers the holistic health and lifestyle wellness services of Corporate Health Partners (CHP). Employees may receive biometrics and risk-assessment testing, with an incentive—a $60 yearly medical credit to put toward health insurance or accrue for use later. After the assessment, each employee meets with a certified CHP health coach.

“They meet, one-on-one, for 30-minute sessions and come up with a game plan based on what the employee wants to work on, whether it’s their cholesterol, weight, etc.,” says Ream. The health coach continues to meet with the employee throughout the year.

Yancey Bros. offers two separate matches for its workers, based on age. It contributes 50% of the first 8% deferred by those under 55, and 50% of the first 12% deferred by those over 55. Ream gives credit to the company’s former CEO, Jim Stephenson, who placed a high value on long-tenured employees. “We had a lot of people who were loyal to the company, and he wanted to make sure that, as you get closer to retirement, we put some extra money in your account,” Ream says. Automatic enrollment is set at 6% with a 2% annual escalation, up to a 12% maximum; participation is just under 92%, with the average deferral at 8.5%.

In the future, Yancey Bros. plans to add education on topics that employees have requested, such as Social Security, budgeting and Roth 401(k)s—all delivered face-to-face. “They’re topics to help fill out their plate,” Ream says. “And for us, that seems to do well in person.”

—Amanda Umpierrez

 

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